Vol. 51 No. 2, 2012
An Experimental Study of the Response of the Gorgonian Coral Subergorgia suberosa to Polluted Seawater from
a Former Coastal Mining Site in Taiwan
Chan1, Li-Chun Tseng1, Samba KÔ1,
Ching-Fong Chang2,3, and Jiang-Shiou Hwang1,3,*
of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean Univ., 2 Pei-Ning Road,
Keelung 202, Taiwan
2Institute of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean
Univ., 2 Pei-Ning Road, Keelung 202, Taiwan
3Center of Excellence for Marine Bioenvironment and
Biotechnology, National Taiwan Ocean Univ., 2 Pei-Ning Road, Keelung
Isani Chan, Li-Chun Tseng, Samba KÔ, Ching-Fong Chang,
and Jiang-Shiou Hwang (2012) The response of the gorgonian coral
Subergorgia suberosa to heavy metal-contaminated seawater in the
Yin-Yang Sea of Liang-Dong Bay, a former mining site in northeastern
Taiwan, was investigated. Subergorgia
suberosa bioaccumulation and tissue injury were recorded and
examined throughout the study period. Heavy-metal concentrations in
tissues of the corals showed a significantly increasing trend with
incubation time. Cu, Zn, and Cd each showed characteristic
bioaccumulation in this soft coral. Metallic Zn accumulated, but
rapidly dissipated. In contrast, Cu easily accumulated, but was slow to
dissipate, and Cd was only slowly absorbed and dissipated. Our results
indicate that significant bioaccumulation of heavy metals occurred in S. suberosa coral.
Histopathological and scanning electron microscopic results identified
polyp necrosis, mucus secretion, tissue expansion, and increased
mortality in S. suberosa
corals exposed to water polluted with heavy metals.
Key words: Subergorgia suberosa, Heavy metals,
Bioaccumulation, Histological examination.
*Correspondence: Tel: 886-935289642. Fax: 886-2-24629464.